By Christopher Treacy
TOMI’s music merges elements of indie rock and hints of Americana into something both pop-tuneful and edgy. Perhaps a bit to the left of what we normally include at CQ, “If You Tried” has just the right amount of earthy grit to fit in here, and TOMI gives voice to the frustration of one-sided affection… we think most can identify. The video clip, directed by Haile Lidow, is both hilarious and heartbreaking as TOMI carries on an affair with a mannequin, throwing a queer spin on something akin the Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love” concept while simultaneously redirecting it to have some emotional weight (whereas the original might be a wee bit misogynistic). TOMI’s pipes have personality to spare, standing out in a crowd of homogenized, overproduced voices that are often indistinguishable from one another. Not so, here, and “If You Tried” would sound right at home on Sheryl Crow’s self-titled 1996 album, nestled next to “If It Makes You Happy” and “Hard To Make a Stand”—and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Fresh off of a string of dates with KT Tunstall and a slot at Bonnaroo, TOMI is readying her third album, Late Bloomer for an August release.
The CQ Corral is an emerging feature at Country Queer that will bring you new music several times weekly, culminating every two weeks in the CQ Roundup our readers have come to expect. If you think your work could be a good fit for coverage at CQ, fill out our submission form!
Christopher Treacy has been writing about music and the music industry for 20 years. He’s contributed to The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Herald, Nashville Scene, and Berklee College of Music’s quarterly journal, as well as myriad LGBTQ+ outlets including the Edge Media Network, Between the Lines/Pride Source, Bay Windows and In Newsweekly. He’s the Managing Editor for CQ and lives in Waitsfield, VT.